So which is scarier for you? An explosive temper or a quiet one?
I've talked before about my parents' tempers before. My dad was slow to anger but once he got there he was over you. My mother was quicker tempered but it was fast and gone. And neither of them yelled. Ever. Never. And though my mother was a quicker flash when you really had to worry was when she got quiet. That meant you were in big trouble.
Now because of the no yelling thing I am pretty much incapable of dealing with explosive tempers. Temper fits, the yelling, the slamming of things, they upset me. I just don't know how to process such things. The fight or flight response kicks in and I either want to run away in terror or start hitting you. There is no calm and rational thought when I am around an explosive temper.
But on the other hand if I am dealing with someone who has the icy temper? Who just gets calmer and calmer? Then I am truly scared. Because that's the dangerous one in my head. That's the one that says you are really in for it now.
I've also talked about how I am a mix of my parents. Faster to anger than my father, I stay there longer than my mother. When I'm ticked off at you I will fight. When I am truly angry I will get quiet and withdraw.
Quiet is worse.
And the quieter I am the worse it is.
I think it's a control thing. When I am truly angry I am not in control of what is going to come out of my mouth. What I will say. How I will say it. So I get quiet. But all of those things are said. Just in my head. Because part of me knows that to say it out-loud would do no one any good. So I'm quiet. And in control. And icy.
Now here is my dilemma. I think an icy temper is scarier. I think it's worse. I think it is the one to be truly scared of. But when writing a character who is mad a fiery temper is more expressive. It's obvious they are mad. It's explosive. It's big. It's out there. But does it really convey how angry they are?
What do you say? Which is scarier? Fire or ice?